Sperm Life Span – Features, Conditions and Interesting Facts

02.09.2019 Medicine, Men's health
Sperm Life Span – Features, Conditions and Interesting Facts

The ability to plan and conceive a long-awaited baby, as well as the fear of an unwanted pregnancy, concerns almost every love couple or couple. And although such pairs have different goals, they can still be united by interest in the same information: what is the life span of spermatozoa? It is immediately worth noting that this time may differ depending on the conditions in which male germ cells are. In this article we will try to answer in more detail the question of what is the life span of spermatozoa in different conditions of their location.

Life cycle

It is difficult to overestimate the value sperm in all of human life. The outcome of the entire sexual intercourse, as well as the birth of a new life within a woman, will depend on their mobility and vitality in the course of certain favorable circumstances. Before you figure out what is the life span of spermatozoa, you need to consider the main periods of the existence of these cells:

  1. Birth and maturation in the male body. As a rule, it takes about 2 months for the sperm to become an adult, to receive its own set of chromosomes and to grow stronger. For another month, he waits for the moment of ejaculation, and then dies, becoming unable to fertilize the female egg.
  2. Life cycle in the external environment. Such a life begins from the moment of the male orgasm, during which the sperm leaves its parent body. In this case, he can get into the female vagina, where there is a chance of fertilization, or die in the open air.
Sperm movement

At the same time, it is important to know how long sperm live after intercourse, maintaining their activity after the moment of ejaculation. In this case, life expectancy will range from a few minutes to several days. This time will depend on where the sperm cells are located: in the external environment or in the female body.

In addition, several factors can influence sperm life expectancy. We will talk about them in the next section.

Factors affecting the life of sperm cells

When talking about how many sperm cells live, factors also need to be taken into account, which can significantly affect their life expectancy. They are as follows:

  1. The state of the reproductive function of men and women. The absence or presence of any acute or chronic diseases, as well as the inflammatory process.
  2. Speaking about what is the life span of spermatozoa, it is worth noting that this will also depend on the body temperature of the man or on the ambient temperature .
  3. A particular role is played by the type of environment the sperm got into after intercourse.
  4. When answering the question of how long sperm can live, it should be noted that it is of great importance has exposure to light, including exposure to solar learn.
  5. If a man uses lubricants during sexual intercourse, this can also affect the lifespan of germ cells.
  6. If we consider the lifespan of a sperm in the female body, then it can affect the acid-base balance directly in the vagina itself. If this environment is alkaline, then sperm cells tend to live longer.
  7. Contraceptives or medications may affect the life of the sperm in the uterus.
  8. The set of chromosomes of a particular sperm also plays a role in the duration of his life.
  9. It is also necessary to take into account individual indicators of the condition of the seminal fluid of a man: the composition, quantity, and activity of the cells.
  10. If sexual intercourse is performed with a condom, then they can influence in substances that are in contraceptive lubricant.
Male sperm

X- and Y -chromosomes

We continue to consider how many sperm live in the air, in the body, in the uterus. An important role in life expectancy is also played by X- and Y-chromosomes. This is especially important for couples planning to conceive a boy or girl specifically.

For example, male Y chromosomes, which are responsible for the birth of a boy, are active for only 24 hours. Therefore, if you plan to conceive a boy, it is necessary to take into account the given lifespan of sperm in the fallopian tubes. In this case, fertilization should occur before ovulation or immediately after it.

As for female X chromosomes, they can remain active for two days. If a couple wants to have a daughter, then you need to have sex a couple of days before the time of ovulation.

The effect of body temperature

As mentioned earlier, how much sperm live in the female body or outside it, and the temperature also affects.

In addition, the temperature of the male body, as well as the environment where it is located for a sufficient amount of time, plays a special role for the life of sperm. The most favorable temperature for sperm is up to 37 degrees. If the couple is planning a pregnancy, then the air temperature in the house should also be optimal for the life of sperm.

Sperms near the egg

Elevated temperature

If a man works in conditions of elevated temperature, for example, in a mine or production hall, then the majority of sperm cells die, and those that manage to survive are not particularly active and viable. As a rule, such sperm are not capable of fertilizing the egg.

It should also be noted that a decrease in sperm motility can also be observed in the summer, when the air temperature is more than 38 degrees.

In order for sperm cells to be active and viable, a man should avoid wearing tight, narrow underwear, and even more so that is made of synthetic materials.

Lovers in the sauna or bath should be very careful, as they may have problems conceiving the baby.

Low temperature

Impact Not low temperature on the male body is also fraught with various consequences. If a man has been in conditions where the air temperature is below 4 degrees Celsius for a long time, then not only gametes can die, but an imbalance in the function of the entire reproductive system can begin. That is why you should not ignore wearing warm underwear in the winter, do not touch the snow and ice with your hands, and also do not sit on the cold. This is especially true for the period when you want to conceive a baby.

Sperm and egg

Life expectancy in the female body

When a sperm enters the female body, it can behave in completely different ways. The time of viability and the possibility of fertilization will depend on various factors that are associated with the condition of the woman’s body, as well as the menstrual cycle.

If the vagina is very acidic, which is supported by special lactobacilli, then under its influence the main amount of sperm can die within a couple of hours. In this case, only those spermatozoa that are the most mobile and strong remain. It is they that directly reach the cervix.

In the cervix, the life span of spermatozoa increases from 4 to 8 days, which can be explained by the alkaline environment in this organ. Here, sperm move much more actively, and half an hour after intercourse they reach the uterus, as well as the fallopian tubes.

During ovulation, a mature egg can already wait in the tubes for them. If it is not, then sperm are able to live there for a week, but they lose their fertilization ability after 3-5 days.

Significantly affects the life expectancy of sperm and the condition of the female body. Any inflammatory process in the woman’s reproductive system changes the pH of the medium in the direction of increasing acidity, which is detrimental to spermatozoa. The presence of a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia, has a detrimental effect on male germ cells.

Moving sperm cells

Life expectancy in the environment

As part of the ejaculant, spermatozoa are located in the secretion of the prostate, which contains biologically active elements that support them and have a protective effect in the female vagina from an acidic environment. That is why it will be quite easy to imagine what exactly can happen to sperm if it is in the external environment and loses this protection. In this case, she will not live long enough.

In water

Spermatozoa, once in water, which is present in the ejaculant, can survive for a maximum of ten minutes. But if they find themselves without a nutrient medium, then the sperm die in one second.

On the underwear and the head of the penis

In such conditions, sperm die for thirty minutes. Sometimes it happens that the most active sperm during this time, with a positive set of circumstances, penetrate the vagina, uterus, and fertilize the egg.

Light and sun rays

As mentioned earlier, light is fatal to sperm. Life expectancy under the influence of light and sunlight will be no more than twenty minutes.

Ovum sperm

In a condom tied up

Under such conditions, sperm can survive for 30 minutes if there is no synthetic lubricant on the contraceptive. If there is such a spermicidal lubricant on the condom, then the sperm die instantly.


If ejaculation occurred outside the female body, then spermatozoa may not exist more than two hours. Even if they will have great activity, overcoming the acidic environment of the vagina, then they are unlikely to be able to move on.

The high fertility ability of a man implies the release of a large amount of ejaculant. In this case, the death of sperm occurs within the next five hours.

On the hands, in the mouth, in the anus, in saliva, in any area of ​​the skin and household items, spermatozoa die within 3-5 hours. In this case, do not worry about whether pregnancy can occur.

On a towel and sheets, the spermatozoa die as soon as the ejaculant dries, and the risk of pregnancy in this case, of course, is reduced to zero.

Two sperm cells

How to increase viability

To increase the viability of spermatozoa, you must refuse to wear tight clothes, preferring free models. It is necessary not to supercool, and also refuse to go to the sauna or bath at least a couple of weeks before conception. During intercourse, do not use different gels and lubricants that reduce the life of sperm. It is best to get rid of bad habits, you need to sleep at least 8 hours a day. It is recommended to increase physical activity, change the diet, excluding fatty and harmful foods.



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